Monday, June 26, 2017
REVISITING CALDER at Whitney Museum: Review by Polly Guerin
CALDER: HYPERMOBILITY at the Whitney Museum of American Art, focuses on the extraordinary breadth of motion achieved by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) in his works from the moment he turned to radical abstraction in 1930 and continuing throughout his career. The exhibit is extended to October 23, 2017.
Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibit, enchanting as it is, engages visitors with a rare opportunity to experience works set in motion by motors or air currents and further animated by touch.
These subtly oscillating shapes create the sense of a painting in motion, and as with his earlier mobiles, many of the sculptures feature circular forms inspired by the dynamics of unseen forces in nature. Always experimenting, Calder would soon push beyond the repetition of the motorized works and by 1932 he made his first suspended mobile, Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, which quickly led to various other mobiles incorporating spontaneous movements activated by air currents, human intervention, or chance.
BIRTH OF THE MOBILE: Calder began with kineticism in the 1920s while living in Paris, where he developed a close association with leading European avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Edgard Varese and Fernand Leger.
In 1931 Calder invented the mobile, an entirely new mode of sculpture. The term was coined by Duchamp, the friend of American Artist, Florine Stettheimer. In French, mobile is pun that means both "motive" and "that which moves." Combined with carefully balanced components of wire, metal and wood, each mobile performs is own set of movements, enacting an infinite series of potential forms.
For this exhibition, musician Jim O'Rourke has composed a works in response to Calder's sculpture. Listen on the mulimedia guide and whiteney.org/calder. A complete schedule of performances and activations for updates and to purchase or reserve tickets in advance, visit
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Calder's mesmerizing mobiles engage, enchant, entertain and move our imagination into spheres of uncharted beauty. Fan mail welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left-hand column to topics that resonate with your interest on fashion, beauty, women determined to succeed, visionary men, and poetry.